Hello... I just adopted 22 Chickens and 1 Rooster and I have no idea what I am doing

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by courtneybcca, Apr 23, 2016.

  1. courtneybcca

    courtneybcca New Egg

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    Apr 23, 2016
    Hello

    I am very excited to start this journey and have started looking through your posts already.

    They are about 7 months old and in pretty dirty conditions. I think the house too small for the amount in it but I could be wrong. What size of house should be required for his large of group? I have absolutely no experience raising chickens and need all the advice I can get.

    I started cleaning out all the poop yesterday and I am trying to decide if I should dig all the poop out of the coop or put mulch over top of it. I live in the Southwest in the desert and the ground is very dry. (I am not sure if that matters).

    I am going to be building them a new coop in the next couple of weeks and will be moving these ladies to a new home. I have been looking through all these coop plans online and am getting lost in the sea of information...

    One of the ladies is brooding... I believe that is the correct term. I am not sure how long she has been siting on her eggs or what I should do with her. If I am planning on moving them in the next couple of weeks should I allow her to continue to do this?

    I put fresh hay in their nesting boxes, feed them, gave them fresh water, and made sure they have shade. What else is essential for them?



    Thank you so much for your help
     
  2. RodNTN

    RodNTN Following Jesus

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  3. RodNTN

    RodNTN Following Jesus

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    Do you want your broody hen to hatch eggs? If so, when you move them you should move her along with her eggs carefully to a nesting box. How long has she sitting on the eggs?
     
  4. limited25

    limited25 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Make sure they can get grit; I just mix a little with their food. It is small rocks that grind up their food so they can digest it. Also, laying hens need oyster shell (or dried, crushed egg shell) so the shells on the eggs they lay will be hard. How many chickens do you have? Recommended 4 sf coop space per bird, and 10 sf run space per bird.

    Good luck and [​IMG]
     
  5. chickmomma03

    chickmomma03 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Everyone has their own preference on bedding. I started off with straw and switched to pine shavings (don't use aspen or cedar, they aren't safe, it needs to be pine). I still use straw in the run when we are getting a lot of rain though (live on slanted property too slick even with muck boots).

    For feed, I feed mine non-medicated chick feed because I have a rooster. You can look into all flock too. Supplementing the girls with oyster shells is important. Roosters' bodies can't process out the excess calcium in laying feed.

    For coop, I think the minimum for 23 is 8x8?

    They need to have roughage. Being in a desert area it's probably hard for them to get it. You can pick some green veggies up at the store for them. Mine love spinach, cabbage, lettuce, and things like that.

    Scratch, you can use it to entertain them, but don't give too freely. I don't buy scratch, but I will toss a couple hands full of feed down on the ground and let them go at it, they love that.

    Treats, there are some things they can't have, and some things they can. Fruits (avoid acidic), veggies (avoid potato skins and raw potato), meats (no raw, cooked and cooled only), bread (in very limited amounts), they like cooked noodles (in limited amounts), and several other things. They can't have some seeds from fruits, so I core and cut up fruits for mine, with the exception of watermelon, I just cut that open and let them have at it.

    Watermelon is great for a cool down treat during the summer.

    Make sure they always have access to clean, cool water. You'll want to try to find a shaded area for their water.

    I'm probably leaving things out.
     
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  6. chickmomma03

    chickmomma03 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote: It says she adopted 23 birds. I thought for coop size it was around 8x8 for 23 of them?
     
  7. limited25

    limited25 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I must be blind, read this 4x and still don't see where she posted how many she has. [​IMG], but ok, 23.

    8x8 would be 64 sf, divide that by 4 sf = 16 birds. Some people give theirs a little less room and some people have smaller birds though.
     
  8. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    Welcome to Backyard chickens. When figuring room in the coop, you don't include roosts or nestboxes
     
  9. courtneybcca

    courtneybcca New Egg

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    Apr 23, 2016
    Thank you for all your responses!!!!
     
    Last edited: Apr 23, 2016
  10. courtneybcca

    courtneybcca New Egg

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    Apr 23, 2016
    Thank you all for all your responses!! [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    when you say coop do you mean their actual house or the entire run are? Sorry if that is a stupid question... So should the house be at least 8x8? Also how big should the run area be? I am going to let them run around in the yard during the day but I would like the option of a fully enclose run for the days I can't be at home and need to run errands.

    In their house and nesting boxes I have straw but will put pine in asap! As far as the mulch I was thinking about putting that in the run area.. I read that somewhere... The ground is extremely hard dirt almost like concrete and I'm going to try to dig it out because it is covered in poop. But I want to replace it with something softer they can scratch at. What do you suggest? Or should I just leave it after I get the poop out?

    I have no idea how long she has been sitting on her eggs. Frankly I'm a little scared of her. All the other birds were happy to see me but she kind of hissed at me so I'm not sure what to do. I am going to be in trouble if a few of them decide to do this...

    I was given some organic chicken feed.. Should I jut add the grit to it?

    Thank you so much for all your help!!
     

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